The 1000 Bikes Foundation was established in April 2010 by Michael Bowers, a New York native who grew up in various foster homes. An avid biker and cycling enthusiast, Mike, or CoolAssMike as he is known in riding circles, had participated in “rides” throughout California, New York and Miami for years. While riding through Los Angeles, Mike began to desire a greater structure and purpose to his rides. He realized that if people could come together to ride a bike, with sometime up to 15,000 people on the road at one time, he can use that momentum and those numbers for a greater community impact.
In April 2010, Mike decided to organize his own monthly group ride “TheCoolAssRide” which was a purposeful 20 mile ride with over 100 youth and families, many equipped with CoolAssRide t-shirts. The inaugural ride began in mid-Wilshire’s historic Lafayette Park, went though Hollywood, Silver Lake, Hancock Park, Los Angeles and back to the Lafayette Park. Following the ride, Mike searched for a charity to donate proceeds from the sales of his t-shirts, but none seemed to merge his passion for bikes, family and his personal connection to youth living in the foster care system. Through his experience in foster homes he understood the need to help facilitate bonding activities for youth entering new homes, which he noticed was often missing. From that passion, the 1000 Bikes Foundation was founded.
The 1000 Bikes Foundation is a not-for-profit organization which is dedicated to putting a bike in the hands of 1000 foster youth and their families in communities across the United States. The 1000 Bikes Foundation is more than just a charity; it is a movement that creates a 1000 bike tredmark in every city it rides through. Through the giving of equipment, education and demonstration projects, 1000 Bikes promotes the use of bicycles to foster youth and their families as a way of looking beyond their current situation, facilitating family bonding and encouraging healthier lifestyles.
The mission of The 1000 Bikes Foundation is to enhance the quality of life of foster youth and their foster families by exposing them to healthier lifestyles that can impact their family, environment, local and global communities.
The 1000 Bikes Foundation is committed to creating a future for youth by shaping its efforts around four core values:
1. Foster Youth
2. Healthy Lifestyles
3. Community Service/ Leadership
4. Family Building